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The best Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time whether you’re working or relaxing. While we’ve already covered some of our favorite Windows 10 shortcuts, there’s also a fresh set in Windows 11. Here’s a look at some of those shortcuts and how you can use them to your advantage.

New Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Closeup on the the keyboard of the HP Pavilion Aero 13 laptop.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Windows 11 brings a new set of keyboard shortcuts that aren’t available in Windows 10. These shortcuts are catered to some of the new features in the operating system, like the Widgets Pane, Quick Settings, Notification Center, Snap Layouts, and the new Chat app. A lot of these shortcuts will require you to use the Windows Key (⊞), which you can find to the left of the spacebar.

⊞ Win + W Open the Widgets Pane.
⊞ Win + A Open Quick Settings for Wi-Fi, Brightness, etc.
 ⊞ Win + N Open Notification Center.
⊞ Win + Z Open Snap Layouts.
 ⊞ Win + C Open Teams Chat app.

General Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard and trackpad on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

In addition to the keyboard shortcuts above, which are new in Windows 11, some of the Windows 10 shortcuts also carry over into the new operating system. These have also been found in older versions of Windows. You can use these to take screenshots, run searches, get to your settings app, get support, and a lot more.

Keyboard shortcut Function
⊞ + Shift + S Take a screenshot with Snip & Sketch.
⊞ Win + M Minimize Windows.
⊞ Win + R Open the Run dialogue box.
⊞ Win + F1 (some keyboards may require Win + Fn + F1) Open Windows Help and Support.
⊞ Win + L Lock your PC or switch accounts.
⊞ Win+ D Display and hide desktop.
⊞ Win+ I Open Windows 11 Settings.
⊞ Win+ E Open File Explorer.
⊞ Win+ X Open the Start Menu Context button.
⊞ Win+ P Open the projection pane for display settings.
⊞ Win+ Comma (,) Peek at the Windows 11 desktop until you release the keys.
⊞ Win+ Period (.) Open the Windows 11 emoji picker.
⊞ Win+ Tab Open your list of active apps.
⊞ Win + K Open the Quick Connect menu.
⊞ Win + G Open the Xbox Game Bar.

Other shortcuts

Ctrl+C Copy.
Ctrl+V Paste.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open the Task Manager.
Alt + F4 Close the active app.
Alt + Spacebar Open shortcut menu for an active window.

Our list just covers some of the more commonly used shortcuts involving the Windows key. Microsoft has a more in-depth list of Windows shortcuts, covering things that go beyond what we’ve mentioned in our list so far. Their list gets into Command Prompt, File Explorer, and more.

We do think that you can use these shortcuts to your productivity advantage, which is why we suggest you also look into some of the best keyboards to use. Your laptop’s keyboard might be a bit too cramped to punch out these shortcuts with ease.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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